How to take care of your chronic condition during COVID-19

The COVID?19 pandemic has changed how we socialise, how often we wash our hands, and how far we stand away from strangers (about 1.5 metres). Many things have changed, but at least one thing has stayed the same: you need to keep taking your medicine and keep talking to your treating doctor if you have a chronic condition.

It’s more important than ever to take care of your health

Chronic conditions are long?lasting conditions that you can manage with medicine, but you can’t cure. They include conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, HIV, diabetes, lupus and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

Having a chronic condition increases your risk of developing COVID?19 complications if you become infected with SARS?CoV?2019. The better you manage your chronic condition by taking your medicine and monitoring your condition, the better your general health and resistance against disease.

Practical tips for safe chronic care during COVID?19

Call before you visit a healthcare facility

Tell healthcare providers you have chronic condition. If you call ahead, you could have a virtual consultation with your doctor instead, or they will make special arrangements to help keep you safe.

Ask your pharmacy to deliver your medicine

To be in your best health, you have to keep taking your medicine. Even if you usually collect your medicine, ask your pharmacy if they can deliver it.

Keep your vaccinations up to date

The World Health Organization suggests keeping your vaccinations up to date. If you haven’t had your yearly flu vaccination yet, it might be a good idea to get it. It won’t protect you from COVID?19, but it will help prevent you from getting flu and COVID?19 at the same time.

Register for the Chronic Illness Benefit

If you have a chronic condition on the Chronic Disease List, you should register for the Chronic Illness Benefit so we pay for specific medicine and treatment without using your day?to?day benefits. Once we approve cover for your condition, you have automatic access to specific medicine and items to treat your condition as well as a treatment basket. Click here to view the document on treatment baskets that lists the procedures, investigations and specialist consultations we cover for your approved PMB CDL condition/s. You also receive cover for four GP consultations for your registered PMB CDL condition/s a year.

If a test confirms that you are HIV positive, you or your Healthcare Provider must register you with the Aid for AIDS programme as soon as possible. Their skilled, professional consultants respect your right to privacy and will help you get access to clinically sound and cost-effective treatment for your individual needs. Please be assured that we treat each case with complete confidentiality. 

To register please contact Aid for AIDS:

Benefits of the HIV Programme

  • Medicine to treat HIV* and vitamins for the immune system
  • Regular monitoring of the condition
  • Monitoring of the patient’s response to therapy and tests to pick up side effects
  • Continued patient support through dedicated counsellors
  • Assistance in finding a registered counsellor for emotional support.

* This includes medicine to prevent mother-to-child transmission and infection after sexual assault or needle-stick injury.

Members will also have access to pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People of any age with underlying medical conditions. Updated 25 June 2020. Accessed 3 July 2020.

World Health Organization. COVID?19: vulnerable and high?risk groups. Accessed 3 July 2020.

National Health Service. Advice for people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable). Accessed 3 July 2020.

National Health Service. Who's at higher risk from coronavirus. Accessed 3 July 2020.

 

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